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Question

What is the effect of pressure on 100 C?


Solution


All liquids, at any temperature, exert a certain vapour pressure. The vapour pressure can be thought of as the degree to which the liquid molecules are escaping into the vapour phase. The vapor pressure increases with temperature because at higher temperature the molecules are moving faster and are more able to overcome the attractive intermolecular forces that tend to bind them together. Boiling occurs when the vapor pressure reaches or exceeds the surrounding pressure from the atmosphere or whatever else is in contact with the liquid. At standard atmospheric pressure (1 atmosphere = 0.101325 MPa), water boils at approximately 100 C. That is simply another way of saying that the vapor pressure of water at that temperature is 1 atmosphere. At higher pressures (such as the pressure generated in a pressure cooker), the temperature must be higher before the vapor pressure reaches the surrounding pressure, so water under pressure boils at a higher temperature. Similarly, when the surrounding pressure is lower (such as at high altitudes), the vapor pressure reaches that pressure at a lower temperature.

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